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Instagram Users Terrorized by Phishing and Ransomware

A new report, concerning Instagram users has recently surfaced, where Avast researchers claim they have detected hackers to target famous Instagram accounts with social media type of ransomware with the idea of extorting them for access back to their accounts.

How the Instagram Hack Happens?

Researchers at Avast have reported the hackers to target primarily well established Instagram profiles with thousands and even hundreds of thousands followers. The black hats reportadly use a phishing type of scams which are aimed at convince victims that they are about to engage in a business partnership that is very lucrative. The scams ask the victim to click on a URL, which contains a fake Insagram web page that prompts the user to enter his or her password and username. This URL is embedded with tracking technologies, whose primary purpose is to steal these credentials and then the hackers now own it.

Related: Instagram Scam Guide – How to Detect and Evade Them

What follows next is that the hackers use the user’s username and password and then simply locks the account by changing these details shortly after which, the hacker contacts the victim via other form, demanding the victim to pay around $100 ransom in order to gain access to his or her account. Most victims pay the ransom, but Avast experts have reported that their accounts were still as locked as they were before that.

These scams have formed an increasing targeting of Instagram users by hacker, especially when it comes to phishing attacks. Another well known “Insta” hack was the one which happened back in August, where Instagram users faced login issues, because of a suspected large-scale attack on their profiles. And Instagram has also shown that it is not as secure as we thought either after a security bug that was exploited by hackers back in 2018 aimed at revealing private data(https://sensorstechforum.com/instagram-security-bug-exploited-hackers-reveal-private-data/).

How to Protect Yourself from Instagram Attacks

There is no ultimate guide and no ultimate protection measure or software that can stop a new attack on your data and this is the first thing that you must know if you want to adequately establish a good protection system. Be advised that although you may follow the tips we have created for protection below, the best defense against these Instagram attacks still remains to be you – the user. Do not trust anyone and always check URLs that you believe are suspicious on online services, like VirusTotal.

Here are some protection tips which you can apply now and immediately increase the protection of your Instagram account:

Tip #1: Turn on the two factor authentication on your Instagram and Facebook profiles. This will turn the attention to your phone or to your authenticator app and will always help you regain control of your account, even if it has been hacked.

Tip #2: Always check what you have clicked on, since it may lead to an unwanted site. Here are some relevant guides on how to spot fake URLs, files and a phishing attack:

Related: How to Detect and Remove Phishing (Fake) Web Pages

Related: Safely Store Your Important Files and Protect Them from Malware

Related: Protect Yourself from Getting Infected by Malicious E-mails

Tip #3: Use active malware protection. A good anti-malware program can always be of assistance to you and prevent you from getting infected with malware on your part, since it contains real-time shields that are regularly updated with the newest threats and stop them on their track.


Anti-Malware Tool

Spy Hunter scanner will only detect the threat. If you want the threat to be automatically removed, you need to purchase the full version of the anti-malware tool.Find Out More About SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool / How to Uninstall SpyHunter

Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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